Ashley Judd can walk again, over five months after she suffered a "catastrophic" leg injury while visiting a rainforest in Africa's Congo region. On Sunday, Judd, 53, shared photos and videos from Swiss National Park in Switzerland, showing her hiking without crutches. Back in February, Judd revealed she shattered her leg in four places while hiking in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
"Dear Friends, It is with reverence and quiet awe I offer this update. Today, five months and three weeks after the accident in the Congolese rainforest, I walked again, and in what fashion! I hiked in the [Swiss National Park]," she wrote on Instagram. "Stepping in, I felt in my ease, my natural garment of self, at home in my spirit. My leg and foot worked beautifully."
View this post on Instagram
The Divergent star said she could walk uphill on "uneven surfaces for an hour confidently and came down carefully and easily." She also walked uphill in Ticino, "working hard and feeling how much... stamina I have to rebuilt." Although this is a difficult challenge, Judd wrote that she is "up to the daily tasks," even carrying firewood into her hut.
"I have so many people to thank for helping to make my recovery possible," she continued. "Many I have previously acknowledged, such as Dr. Phil Kregor, the trauma orthopedic surgeon. He, in consultation with of Dr. Susan Mackinnon & Dr. Scott Levin, made a very gutsy decision to decompress my deeply damaged peroneal nerve."
Judd's post also included a video of herself moving her foot, which made more progress than her doctors expected. They thought she would not be able to move it for a year. "In four months to the day, she went blew us all away," Judd wrote of her foot. "Now, after crying while trying to spell the ABCs with a paralyzed foot….well, you see!"
Judd's leg will never be the same, but she is embracing the "new" leg she has and is hopeful they will have a "fabulous" life in the future. She went on to thank the doctors who have helped her through the healing process. Her post included a two-month-old video showing her struggling to walk through a forest with crutches to show how much progress she has made.
"Many of you have been praying for me and sending me notes. Thank you," Judd wrote to her fans. "I have felt you. I have especially been held by family and my partner. Peace be with you."
Judd, who has focused on global humanitarian activism in recent years, was visiting the Congo at the time of her accident in February. She had to be treated in South Africa since she did not have access to the care she needed in the Congo. Since the accident, she has been sharing frequent updates with her fans, even sharing a look at the shocking scarring on her leg. "She's very courageous and she's healing. It's really hard to see her like this," Judd's mother, singer Naomi Judd, said on The Kelly Clarkson Show in March. "She lives next door, so I'm gonna go up and take her stitches out when we're done. I used to be a nurse before I became a singer."